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You’re Full of Ship Pt. 3

UPDATE 1/7/21: She's here! Annalise was born the morning of New Year's Day, and was the first baby girl of the New Year in Fort Worth. (9:25 am for those who were in the baby pool I noticed in the comments the last few weeks!) She's doing just fine and already establishing herself as the queen of the house.   A new $10 Patreon comic featuring the future "Rumors" storyline (starts 2 years in future past the current timeline on the main site) is now up, and I think it's one of the best Chris has ever done. I'm biased, however--so feel free to check it out and make your own judgement, lol! Chris is plugging away at the next main site comic, which should hopefully be up Tuesday. Expect a more detailed blog then about Annalise and other family stuff :) Thanks for all your support and patience - Claire

  Guys, I'm flat running out of time to get Patreon done before we have to leave for the holidays. I'll be driving all day tomorrow, then we're spending 4 days seeing three different family members, in three different locations, across two states. By Wednesday we'll be driving back 14 hours. This is the last chance for some of them to see us before baby Annalise gets here and we're going to be locked in place for several years with an infant/toddler.  So, in short, thanks for bearing with me. I'm sitting at my computer every chance I get to churn out art but I have a seasonal crunch on top of Claire being due shortly after Christmas and the kids have a great grandmother who wants to see them (and she's pushing 90.) We have to go now.  I can explain my frustration through previews if you'd like. ^Me still trying to shade 10 panels ^My 'well established' love of distance learning involving 4 kids ^Me before driving 13 hours tomorrow not being able to fit my PC and tablet in the car. Also I'm nearly done with Ellie Fishnets But yeah. Distance learning! I really need to find this horse and beat it again. This crap just does not work. Every one of our 4 kids has had their grades nosedive after being honorably discharged from school. For instance: This is one child. One class. And they're all having this problem. They don't understand assignments, or they can't find them in the system, or the teachers are just uploading them 'whenever' and the kids don't know WHEN to find them... And if you miss an assignment by a day you gotta email the teacher to unlock it and explain what happened. So 8 teachers times 3 older kids. Then the 1st grader they gave a Chromebook to and wished us good luck. "We understand she's still learning to read, and occasionally has accidents in her pants, but we're sure she'll understand logins and email and Captcha and everything else associated with this computer and the internet." You also have typical kid issues with 'rushing,' the fact that they're not stuck in a class room for an hour with nothing to do BUT schoolwork (not as easily distracted,) and the peer pressure from other kids to not look.. frankly.. stupid. I paid attention in class a lot more knowing I didn't want to look moronic when called upon. No one wants to be the "dumb" kid in class. At home there's no comparison for the kids. There's no subtle competition. They're just an island to themselves. I hate it for me, and I hate it for them. It's really no wonder National Testing has been postponed for 2 years. Everyone knows the scores would suck. And bless poor Claire. When she's not spending entire days trying to 'fix' poor grades, she's spending hours trying to complete one assignment. We had a Rube Goldberg device consuming our kitchen for 24 hours waiting to hear back from a teacher if the device 'took enough time from start to finish to complete.' (Turns out it needed to be minimum 15 seconds, but we got a pass.)

[video width="260" height="464" mp4="http://shotgunshuffle.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Cut-the-Paper.mp4"][/video]

I think the duck won science teacher man over. Also, I don't know if Claire has commented on it, but we have 42 ducks, 3 geese, and some 50+ chickens. This particular duck is Derpy. He's one of two indoor ducks we have and he's kind of a household meme. He's a crested duck. The kind with the little pom-poms on their heads. A common issue with this breed is they get irregular fatty tissue growth where their poofball are and it causes them to be severely imbalanced. He, unfortunately, can't walk a foot without stumbling or falling over. So he has a little cat bed and sits in it by Claire.  ..and then I send her memes while she works. Our other inside duck is Webby. She's a regular pekin. We ordered 2 females and 1 male, but she came in with two broken legs. Neither healed properly so she can't walk.  But that didn't stop Claire.. She made her a little mech-suit. She's now more machine than duck! Some kind of.. ..gizmo... fowl. But she eventually outgrew that and now watches kids play XBox with her custom homemade diapers. (Guess who made them..) Anyway, I'll be back to work steadily on Thursday, given that no baby has been born. If anything else comes up, I'll certainly let you know. Please everyone enjoy your holidays and time with family!  

UPDATE 12/30/20: Hey guys! We safely made it back from our trip, but we've both been wiped out -- myself with days of false labor contractions (baby is still comfy and refusing to come out) and Chris with blown-out blood sugar levels from the limited eating choices while on the trip (I swear, a holiday road trip has gotta be the worst for trying to manage a diabetic diet). He's finally feeling more like himself again though, and is back to work on the next comic, which hopefully will be up soon. Thanks for all your support, and wishing you all a happy New Year! - Claire

73 thoughts on “You’re Full of Ship Pt. 3

    1. Pumpkin doesn’t know squat. “If you didn’t like girls, you’d be successful with guys” is her very lame argument. And being there instead of with a guy, isn’t possible when one doesn’t have a guy. :p

  1. You would think that if Quinn **only** likes boys, then it would be in her best interests and trivially easy to add that one tiny adverb to her disclaimer.

    And yet, she hedges. You might say that she’s trying to let Pumpkin down gently, but this is the same person who booted Pumpkin unceremoniously out of her car and told her to hit the road. Letting people down gently is not her style.

    And if the “you’re only 16” was the concern, then lounging around alone with Pumpkin on her bed would be a poor way to express it.

    1. Why not both?

      Also, Quinn *knows* Pumpkin is pushy. First thing that P did was push her way into the apartment. Then again. Then pushed her out to the comic book store. Then pushed her into making contact with DJ Douchebro. Then pushed her way between them. She pushed Quinn out to the movies where she pushed herself up against her. She pushed her into cosplay. She pushed her into the darned photobooth and then pushed until she smiled. Not surprising when you have 6 older sisters with boundary issues.

      The only time Pumpkin stopped pushing is when Quinn pushed *back*.Pushed her right out of the car. It was super-effective! Pumpkin stopped pushing so much she disappeared!

      So Quinn knows exactly what to do to stop Pumpkin from pushing. And being grumpy and passively evasive isn’t the answer. It’s obvious that Quinn wants to be friends with Pumpkin, pushiness and all–or else she wouldn’t have shown up. However if that is *all* she wants, then she has to deal with the person Pumpkin is, set a *firm* boundary, and defend it with a (perhaps less forceful) push back. Being passive sullen Quinn has allowed Quinn to have fun with Pumpkin “under protest”. If she continues to be passive sullen Quinn, she is saying “I am going to be cajoled into doing something I won’t admit I’ll have fun doing, so don’t stop pushing”. It is part of their dynamic. If Quinn isn’t interested in Pumpkin in a romantic way, she needs to stop acting like she wants to be be dragged into a love affair.

      1. As I recall “grooming” is the name of what you get charged with if you aren’t involved with a minor but set things up so they come look you up right after their 18th birthday. It’s possible Quinn’s trying to juggle being aware of some degree of interest and that.

        Additionally, while Quinn isn’t quite old enough, I’ve definitely run into times myself where I thought someone I was otherwise interested in had more than a few, very reasonable, things she needed to learn but I didn’t really have the patience to be the one she learned them on/with. With Quinn’s previous conversation about sexuality with Pumpkin she’s probably wondering if she’s demisexual or homoromantic asexual, and she may be well aware she isn’t asexual and have concerns about that sort of relationship stress on top of the age/grooming thing. It’s also possible that Quinn isn’t really sure if she’s bi or not and would rather try to figure that out with a girl she doesn’t know/care about.

        So trying to stall without shutting down and encouraging looking around elsewhere might be that sort of hedge.

  2. You get back in the game, you don’t fool around.

    Heck of an update Rusche- I daresay you have clearly learned to communicate with your fans :)

    I love the comic and I’m very happy you’re back, but this is an entirely appropriate time to hang a sign up saying you’ll be back in 2021 and breathe for a bit

    1. Seconded, I’m off work for two weeks for family, driving by myself from DC to Nashville, plus other spots in TN. I can imagine driving with kids and stuff, you’ll need the break, holidays are NOT “vacations”, where you get to relax, holidays are the opposite. Enjoy the time with your family, though, and for crying out loud don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to do that afterwards!
      Merry Christmas et. al. etc. ™ (c)…

    2. …yeah, really. We DO know why you’re out, which is great, so take the time off. We’re not wondering if the comic has imploded and we can stop having to tell people this was all a huge Patreon-related scam. That got REALLY tiresome the second month or so in.

      Maybe start building a backlog so that stuff like this is less necessary down the line.

      1. Backlog. Hahahahh. I mean, it’d be good if he _could_ do that, but I think right now, with everything else going on, that’s probably a pipe dream.

        But yeah, at least now we know why the previous extended absence happened. I’m good with that.

        1. I was figuring that he could do like they suggested and take the rest of the year off, and take the stuff he WOULD have published therein and used it to build a backlog instead.

        2. Can we really wait a whole year Steve? I don’t want to admit it, but those detractors started getting close to the right buttons that could have started me down the road to starting an illegal demolition company.

        3. *inhale*
          insert Sponge-Bob card cut with voice over that states, “Ten minutes and three seconds later.”
          mR. Blue tries to pick himself off of the floor after having turned blue two minutes in and decides to use a commercial quote to end this

  4. Distance learning is a lot like remote working. It requires a specific mindset to actually be accomplished.

    Even Michigan, which is one step above New York in terms of lockdowns, which is itself one step above the Gulag, figured out that the high school kids will do the best with remote learning.

    1. Seriously. There are full blown adults who can’t even figure this stuff out. The added complexity of including so much tech to work just increases the points of failure.

      1. Not just the understanding of how it works, but actually FOCUSING and DOING THE WORK without some PHB-equivalent breathing down your neck.

      2. It is a lack either partly of being able to deliver to an individual’s learning style, or the student lacking in the ability to partition their environment into a distinct partitions in order to focus on the remote aspect of learning.

        Or if one of the kids gets loose from being tied up with the goats.

  5. Pumpkin, if success with the opposite sex was a measure of heterosexuality, I would have been fruitier than Carmen Miranda’s hat by the time I left college. It has not been what you’d call a real successful run. It’s probably better described as the complete opposite of that.

    “How’s that working out for you” is completely the wrong question.

    1. It’s a common tactic for predatory homosexuals. Despite her age, I think Pumpkin knows exactly what she’s doing.

      1. Maybe she knows she’s being manipulative, maybe she doesn’t. Pumpkin is self-centered and lacks experience in relationships, so she just might not see how her behavior is veering towards problematic. She is definitely getting out of line with her questions though. She tells Quinn that her optimism about dating men has ‘a lot of risks’, and if she’s saying that trying to imply that dating another woman wouldn’t be as risky then she’s woefully mistaken. All dating and even relationships in general always comes with risks, and I hope Quinn turns her comment around and reminds her of that fact.

        1. Jamilee, I think of all the comments, yours hits the nail most squarely on the head. That was also my impression. I’m actually annoyed at the direction Pumpkin has taken this line of questioning. So much for being contrite.
          Now that’s pretty darn good writing if you can get your audience to talk like this about a comic as if it were actually happening… XD

        2. Well, considering that she was growing up and seeing the older sisters “becoming” adults, compared to what she gets from Ellie. Ginger has become a mother and Pumpkin shares the house with her mother even though she is a larch key kid. I suppose having Ellie around for that almost extra year has allowed Rosemary not worry as much about her children being home alone. Tarragon, I’m wondering if all she and Pumpkin would do were the experiments in technomancy and ninjas and other mystique. Juniper, well, I’m wondering when she got so dropped out at first so that was definitely the black sheep of the family and seems to be a pariah in Pumpkin’s eyes. Anise, I think that by her choice in life of forgoing art school and getting into tattooing may have led Pumpkin into an entrepreneurial bent. But Anise’s choice in what constitutes a man…. who knows exactly how that may have colored Pumpkin’s viewpoints. We know what Pumpkin thinks of Ellie’s interactions in the dating world. And Cinnamon may be as co-mingling as much as Juniper, but eschews her regalia of details differently. And we’ve seen how Pumpkin interacts with Cinnamon, which does give some examples of the youngest child being able to get away with murder, as it were.

          Pumpkin knows the secrets of the house and may be learning in how to, dare I say, persuade others into seeing her point of view. Even perhaps to the point of piercing. I’m also wanting to say that she’ll interact with the family but is that just an extension of the status quo or is she biding her time?

  6. I think Quinn is having the standard late teens conundrum – hanging with Pumpkin is fun and easy and doesn’t involve romantic drama, except when it does. The boys in Quinn’s life are either scum or not willing to hang with Quinn while she figures things out. The boys are not at her stage – one behind and one ahead in terms of self-awareness and maturity. So Pumpkin is easy and fun. But romance? Tough call for Quinn when she really doesn’t even know for sure who SHE is and what she wants, to be willing to be with someone younger and presumably farther back on the self-awareness journey. I think it will be an interesting story to see what happens to both Quinn and Pumpkin in this regard.

    Which is a long boring way to say – GOOD JOB WITH THE WRITING!!

  7. You might say that she’s trying to let Pumpkin down gently, but this is the same person who booted Pumpkin unceremoniously out of her car and told her to hit the road. Letting people down gently is not her style.

      1. help! I misspelled my email and now it looks like I’m replying to myself with a different avatar to make myself look more popular!

        1. Yeah; that’s probably the one thing I dislike the most about this comments section, is that one can’t edit or delete one’s own comment if a mistake is made. :-P

        2. On the plus side, you can now have arguments between your serious side and your silly side. Handy for making those year-end Top Ten lists, too.

        3. Oh yeah. You should have SEEN Mr. Blue try it. He went through easily a dozen different spellings trying to land Pumpagon there. I got dealt Steel Pancreas and I STUCK with Steel Pancreas.

  8. Just noticed that the “buttons” on the front of Pumpkin’s hoodie (which I’m assuming, from the previous comic, were intended to look as if printed on) are missing.
    The artwork has gotten good enough over the years that details like that are now conspicuous by their absence. I’m sure it’s just due to Chris trying to get the strip out for us, despite all the tons of other things on his plate.
    Best of luck to you, Claire, and your family, Chris; and prayers for safe travels. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

      I’ll just go this way and hide. . after installing webcams to capture it all from various angles, with a premium service that shows that one camera is placed near the catbox. Does anyone know a Canadian with a ton of servers?

  9. …it just occurred to me. Are one of those “families” the Firefly Clan?

    Good Lord, is poor Claire going to have to meet the Firefly Clan??

      1. You remember, that flock of assholes that features the welfare scammer whose pills the ex put the kids in charge of doling out? And the one who made fun of Jackson incessantly? They remind me of the family from Rob Zombie’s godawful movies, so I called them the Firefly Clan. That and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they turned out to be serial killers who were luring travelers to their deaths with lurid tales of the even worse serial killer operating out of a cave in their backyard.

        1. The one tangent I didn’t see. Oy, I really hope that justice removes her fricken blindfold for this one in order to fully scrutinize the books before sizing them up as a target for said books.

  10. “I’m straight, I’m only into guys.”

    “And how’s that working out for you?”

    If a guy walked up to a lesbian and that conversation went the same way, he would be CRUCIFIED. But the heroine’s not straight, she’s part of the LGBTQ+ community, so it’s okay?

    1. Is this the first time you’ve dealt with Woke Theory?

      LGBTQ+ girl always beats straight girl in Quien Es Mas Protected Class.

    1. Thankee. Road food is just too hard. I pack food (cheese, crackers, pretzels, carrot sticks (catnip to me), and a flask of coffee. (Even without sugar, barista coffee spikes my bg. No fruit, though. Then I stop for rest breaks to eat.

  11. I am a bit curious about the previiew images with Caleb.

    Are we finally going to see Vu’s face for the first time?

    1. That would be my guess: Vu’s first unobstructed appearance in comic form.

      It’ll be neat to see how the look will have changed with the art style changes/advances over the past few years.

  12. OMG. Steve! Did you flip the tables or hide them?
    WTH is taking so long? I just made a new baby pool bet on January 20th.
    Or did something happen to his hand? Did he have to get in a race after someone called him chicken and he crashed into a Rolls Royce?

    1. I hid them in the cargo hold with the crates of Hamdingers, just like last time! What ELSE would I do with them??

    1. …stop talking in code! No one sent down a new codebook yet and based on the LAST one you want me to abandon ship!

        1. Ooooooooh, that’s what you meant!

          This is the same guy who made a working lightsaber, too. Exciting developments.

  13. Mazel Tov on fine bubs!
    Also Mazel Tov to –me– for taking out the baby pool! *flops self into baby pool splooshing water everywhere* (good thing it’s summer here in NZ)
    I now am replete with “giggles and gloating/bragging rights”, so am benevolently bestowing extra giggle sto all and sundry.

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